When the lights come back on
by Tania Carriere
May 22, 2021 - 11:48am

When the lights come back on

Everything plunges into darkness. For the first few minutes, I am disoriented.

Slowly, the family emerges, one by one, around the kitchen table. Candles are lit, a game is found, a cosy blanket covers two of us, a bag of chips gets passed around. 

The intimacy of candle light. We sit close to one another, our faces barely lit. The light softens our expressions and holds us close. 


There is a different knowing in this moment. 

There is a gentle way between us as we feel each other’s presence. 

And I know from past experience that once the power comes back on, the moment will be lost. 


The electric lights will glare, facial expressions will withdraw again to hide behind their masks. The tv will start up its one-sided conversation; the game is abandoned as we move back to finish whatever had been interrupted. 

And even if we try, the quiet that blanketed us dissipates like a fog in sunlight. 


I feel a longing for that fleeting intimacy, a romance in liminal time. 

It makes me wonder as we leave this phase of Covid, what I will wish I had lingered in, just a little bit longer. One more day with two walks, the intentionality with which I kept in touch with friends, the questions I journaled every morning? 

The starkness of Covid opened me to a new willingness to go with what emerged, to enjoy the quiet spaces in my thinking, to fondle the satin edges of my unactionable dreams, to sink into the timelessness of a new daily rhythm without judgement or expectation.

Can I take any of these gentlenesses with me? 


I admit while I look forward to a world that is no longer gripped in the pandemic, I wonder if there isn’t something to be more fully experienced here in the messy middle? It feels like things will get loud and fast again, perhaps all too quickly. 

In my mindfulness, I challenge myself to ask, what do I want to remember? What do I want to stay present to, to imprint on my memory with such vividness that I will be called with longing to find it again, when the lights come back on?


What will you long for?


The pandemic has changed us. Now is the time to consider who you wish to be and how you wish to live as we approach what might be the most important pivot of all - into our Re-Imagined Selves. If you are interested in doing this quest in a community of other seekers, join a small group of us this fall at our Radical Sabbatical in Kent, England. https://www.advivumjourneys.ca/england-retreat

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